NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice is seen with Peter Stoffer and Annick Papillon in this file photo. (ANDRE FORGET /QMI AGENCY)
The Conservative government attacked a prominent NDP MP on Friday for donating money to a Quebec separatist party this year.
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre levelled the charge in the Commons at MP Alexandre Boulerice during a mudslinging exchange over an alleged Elections Canada investigation into election overspending by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's parliamentary secretary.
Boulerice has previously admitted his sovereigntist roots, but said his position had evolved since he voted Yes in the 1995 referendum.
Poilievre said if Boulerice no longer supports the break-up of Canada then why did he give Quebec Solidaire $150 earlier this year, on top of previous donations totalling about $3,700.
"I am hoping that some member of that party will stand up and confirm whether its entire caucus is federalist and whether its entire caucus believes Canada should stay united," Poilievre asked in the House.
An NDP spokesman called the accusation "old news" and said the Conservatives are using Boulerice to divert away from their own "ethical" problems stemming from election irregularities.
"Mr. Boulerice is no longer giving money to Quebec Solidaire," Marc-Andre Viau said. "He is a proud member of Canada's NDP."
Boulerice is among a cabal of New Democrats who have been linked to separatists. Also in that group is former interim party leader Nycole Turmel, who was a card-carrying member of the Bloc Quebecois for five years.